بِسْمِ الله الرَّحْمانِ الرَّحِيمِ
Dear sis’ let me quickly confess that I don’t bake. I can’t recall the last time I baked something… that is before my recent experience with the banana nut bread.
I was taking a course on the Ta’leem of Qur’an and many of the sessions discussed the importance of blessings and making sure we use them well, making sure we show proper gratitude. As we talked about manna and salwa sent to bani israil in the desert, I reflected on how I could be more grateful for what I already had and what I could do at home to waste less. I looked at my ripe bananas in the fruit basket and cringed because I knew my husband and I would not be eating them. We both do not like bananas that are ripe.
This is when the idea of baking a banana nut bread came to mind as we both love banana bread. I quickly googled a recipe but then decided to just do it my own way by substituting ingredients and leaving some out. I have no experience in baking, I was just arrogantly, yes arrogantly and ignorantly choosing to bake something I didn’t know how to bake ‘my own way’. It was a disaster and I was quickly humbled. I asked myself ‘why didn’t you just follow the recipe?’ People who posted the recipes are bakers and they already tried it and are sharing to make it easier on others to succeed as well. (Do you see where I am going with this..).
Allah Azza Wajal chose a Prophet Salallahu Alayhi wa salaam for us to follow, for us to understand how we should worship Allah. His Sunnah is detailed and well preserved. We even know how he used the restroom, we know how he ate, how he slept, how he started his day, how he prayed, how he invoked His Lord, how he dealt with trials and challenges, how he interacted with his wives, how he was as a father, as a leader. We have the perfect recipe for success in the life of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa salaam. However, when we arrogantly and ignorantly think that we will do things our own way, we will worship Allah the way we think we should worship Him, we will follow our own logic over the sunnah, we are just setting ourselves up for failure. All these efforts we put in ‘doing our own things’ completely rendered void. May Allah save us from that state. Aameen.
Allah Azza Wajal says in suratul Muhammad:
Indeed, those who reverted back [to disbelief] after guidance had become clear to them – Satan enticed them and prolonged hope for them. (47:25)
That is because they said to those who disliked what Allah sent down,1 “We will obey you in part of the matter.” And Allah knows what they conceal. (47:26)
That is because they followed what angered Allah and disliked [what earns] His pleasure, so He rendered worthless their deeds. (47:28)
See Satan is an expert at making the haram, the wrong actions look good. If we go back to my baking story, the first cake’s batter looked really good and full of potential, I was already rejoicing at how it would turn out. I was feeling so clever that I was able to use different ingredients, follow some of the recipe and leave some out and still it looked good.
Yep the batter looked good but the baking told a whole other story. The heat revealed the reality of the situation.
After this disaster of a banana bread that in the end I could not eat (though I tried for a few days as per my plate in the picture above) I decided to try again as more ripe bananas were looking at me as if saying ‘would you dare again?’. Yep I would! Never quit when it comes to right a wrong!
I looked up another recipe with oat flour and followed it to the T this time (or almost… I didn’t use the same amount of sugar because we are reducing our sugar intake). I knew that sugar was just a bonus ingredient as ripe bananas are already sweet. Alhamdulillah, this time, the bread came out beautifully and I definitely learned a big lesson.
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds. (47:33)
It is in my own best interest to follow to the T the path of those whom Allah has blessed. We make this du’a in suratul Fatiha at least 17 times a day. We ask Allah to guide us to the straight path, the path of those He has blessed (an’amta Alayhim). I only harm myself, when I try to do my own thing and make decisions based on ignorance and arrogance.
May Allah bless us with beautiful understanding of His Deen. May we be among those who obey Him and His Messenger and may He save us from actions that may look good but will be in the end void of any benefit. May He preserve our deeds for us and may He accept and bless our efforts. Allahumma Aameen.
Here is the recipe that I ended up following completely (except for the sugar).
Banana nut bread
-2 cups of oat flour
-1/2 cup brown sugar ( I used less than a 1/4 cup of white sugar that someone gave us)
-6 tbsp butter (unsalted and melted)
-1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda ( about 7 ml)
- 3/4 cup walnuts (crushed)
-4 ripe bananas (that you will mash with a fourk)
-1/4 tsp of salt (i just sprinkled a little)
Start with Bismillah for barakah. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter your baking pan so it’s easier to take out the bread.
Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl (flour, baking soda, salt)
Mix in another bowl (mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter and sugar)
Incorporate the liquid mix in the dry mix and then add the walnuts.
Stir until the flour is well incorporated i.e you no longer see dry bits of flour.
Pour the batter in your baking pan and let it bake for about 60 minutes. Insert a knife to see if the inside is cooked. The knife should come out clean, if it does, it is ready!.
Let it cool for about 15-30 minutes before cutting it. Wrap it well and you can keep it at room temperature for about 5 days.
Enjoy and remember to say Alhamdulillah when you done eating.😋
Go ahead and do some good by sharing this post with anyone you think might benefit. 🤩
Binta Umm Yahya is the owner of Al An 4 U Online Coaching which is an online platform for Qur’an lessons, Islamic studies and Lifecoaching for Muslimas and women interested in Islam. She has an ijazah in teaching Qur’an and tajwid and has been teaching Qur’an for over 7 years now while being an ongoing student of Qur’an with her husband imam Ahmed Abu Suhailah. She loves reciting, teaching and reflecting on the Qur’an. She is a Certified Master Lifecoach and a NLP Practitioner who absolutely enjoys coaching her sisters in faith to help them gain clarity, focus and understanding of their religion so they live their best life and connect to their Maker. Whenever she is not teaching or coaching, you can find her staring at the sky, reading or journaling with a big cup of tea. 🙂